Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Susan Toman: Upcoming Harp Concerts and Workshop for Christmas

Masters in the Hall, an Evening of Celtic Music for Christmastime
Hibernia, Kyle Burhout (fiddle) & Tyson Chen (keyboard)
Location: NAC Fourth Stage, Ottawa
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: $20

Masters in the Hall, an Evening of Celtic Music for Christmastime
Hibernia, Kyle Burhout (fiddle) & Tyson Chen (keyboard)
Location: Merrickville United Church, 100 St.Lawrence St, Merrickville ON
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: $20

Masters in the Hall, an Afternoon of Celtic Music for Christmastime
Hibernia, Kyle Burhout (fiddle) & Tyson Chen (keyboard)
Location: St.Andrew's Church, 425 Centre St, Prescott ON
Time: 3:00pm
Tickets: $20 (at the door)

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
John Huston, nominated by the Capital Critics' Circle as Best Actor 2014-15, performs a one-man show of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Susan Toman provides musical interludes throughout.
Location: Gladstone Theatre, 910 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa
Times & Tickets:

Saturday December 1st at 11am
This 1 hour workshop will cover aspects of playing by ear as well as Christmas music played together. JUST TWO SPOTS LEFT. Cost: $35. Register by November 24 by writing to
Workshop location: Barrhaven

Hope to see you at some of these events.
Happy Christmas to all!

Monday, 5 November 2018

"Making Spirits Bright" OYHE concert, Nov. 24, 3.00pm, St. Andrew's Church, Pakenham

The Ottawa Youth Harp Ensemble' s Christmas concert, " Making Spirits Bright"  takes place at historic St. Andrew's United Church in the Ottawa Valley village of Pakenham, Ontario at 3.00pm on Nov. 24.  Our program reflects the Irish and Scots heritage of the area, but also includes Christmas music from South America in wonderful ensemble arrangements by A. Ortiz.  Our soprano soloist is Marilyn Jenkins and the OYHE is directed by Mary Muckle.  

Masters in the Hall: An Evening of Celtic Music for Christmastime (NAC 4th Stage) - 5 Dec 2018

Masters in the Hall: An Evening of Celtic Music for Christmastime

Wednesday December 5, 7:30pm

Hibernia (Ellen MacIsaac, vocal and Susan Toman, harp) teams up with North American Irish fiddle champion Kyle Burghout and pianist Tyson Chen for a Celtic Christmas concert at the National Arts Centre's Fourth Stage (1 Elgin Street). 

Tickets $20 at 1-888-991-2787.


Join us for an evening filled with classic Christmas songs and Traditional Irish tunes. Sure to get you in the holiday spirit and put a smile on your face! 
Buy your tickets early - they're going quick!

Friday, 6 July 2018

Theatre production: "I Come from the Valley! Tales and Times of Joan Finnigan"

The story is about a very Irish Canadian - Joan Finnigan. All the music is Celtic traditional. Musical accompaniment is by an up-and-coming family group led by a veteran Celtic performer - Siobheann Donohue (nee Leahy) and family.

I encourage readers to make a trip to the Ottawa Valley this summer to take in the unique Canadian theatre experience our new show, and Stone Fence Theatre, offer. (For a taste, check out the music video of the title song, I Come from the Valley! we made.) Our new musical, I Come from the Valley! Tales and Times of Joan Finnigan showcases one of Canada's most important writers, poets and historians. 

Roy MacGregor has called the show, "The essence of the Valley itself." It is set in the hills of the Ottawa Valley which Finnigan immortalized through her writing. Rich in the larger-than-life Valley lore and characters of her award-winning stories, the show also reveals much about Finnigan's troubled and turbulent life that the public never saw.

"You will laugh, sing and you will weep with both joy and sentiment," wrote MacGregor.

The show celebrates the author's work - funny, bawdy, touching and poetic - in Celtic musical style that befits someone as "Irish to the bone" as Joan Finnigan. It traces her life from her childhood as the feisty daughter of hockey icon Frank Finnegan in the Ottawa of the Roaring Twenties, through her husbands suicide, her literary celebrity status with her Gemini award-winning NFB filmscript Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar (starring the late Margot Kidder in her first role) and her dedication to preserving the oral histories of the obscure Valley "old-timers."

And it raises - and attempts to answer - troubling questions about the ambivalence, or downright hostility, many Ottawa Valley locals felt about her and her works.

The show, which opens July 12 in Rankin (between Pembroke and Eganville), Ontario, was written by company producer Ish Theilheimer, with songwriting help from Johanna Zomers. Stone Fence Theatre, will perform the show 17 times in nine Ottawa Valley communities. Many of the shows include the company's trademark country-style roast beef supper and pre-show entertainment by outstanding local musicians. The tour concludes in Ottawa at the Bronson Centre November 18.

The show stars jazz and blues standout vocalist Fran Pinkerton as Joan Finnigan and features the sensational musical accompaniment of The Donohue Family of Douglas, Ontario. A cast of eight others take on approximately 50 roles - the people in Finnigan's life and her characters.

A music video of the title song, I Come from the Valley!, gives a good sense of the musical style and energy of the company and its performers.

Details about the show are available on the company's website.

The site includes biographical information about Joan Finnigan.

Ish Theilheimer, Producer

Stone Fence Theatre
"Putting the Ottawa Valley on stage since 2003"

Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Acoustics of the Violin Body

I recently came across an interesting short article on the acoustics of violin bodies. From Benning Violins, California:

The body of violins, including their front and back plates, their sides as well as the air they contain, all function as part of the process of transmitting the string vibrations through the bridge into the air surrounding the instrument. The surface area of the violin is in direct relation with the amount of air it vibrates back and forth.

Now that you're interested, the rest of this interesting article is located at the source for the above text:

Session at the Black Irish Pub - Tuesday nights at 8.00 p.m.

The session group which used to meet at the Tartan Pub in Orleans has now moved to The Black Irish Pub in Vanier due to the closure of the Tartan Pub.


1. Contact person - Seán O'Carroll. 613-824-0284. Email:
2. Music type - Irish, Scottish, English, down-east, bluegrass.
3. Instrumental and vocal.
4. This is a relaxed and fun type session.
5. All are welcome.

Pub, 15 Selkirk Street, Ottawa - in a strip mall on the west side of Montreal Rd., immediately east of the Rideau River.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Ottawa Gaels 2018 Golf Tournament - Youth Development Fundraiser

The Ottawa Gaels invite you to our annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser to benefit our Youth Development Program!

This year's Tournament will take place on Saturday, June 9th, 2018 at the Irish Hills Golf & Country Club.

We are offering player packages for $125 and they include:
18 holes of golf
Power cart
BBQ lunch
Roast beef dinner with all the trimmings

We also have a Dinner-Only option for $40: Roast beef dinner with roasted potatoes, and other sides, sauteed veggies, salads, rolls, dessert, coffee/tea.

We'll also be holding a Hole in One contest, Longest Drive contest and a Closest to Pin contest, in addition to giving away several amazing raffle prizes.

Please feel free to sign up a foursome or individually, we'll help you join a team!

You can register and make payment by completing the online form on our website. There are also tournament and  hole sponsorship opportunities, please see the sponsor letter in our online form or email us for more information at : or

Link to online registration, payment and sponsorship opportunities!:

Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you out on the links!
Ottawa Gaels GAA

Camp Violon Trad Quebec 2018

CAMP VIOLON TRAD QUÉBEC - Les inscriptions se terminent le 1er juin !

Joliette (Québec) – Le 7 mai 2018 - Violon Trad Québec, Lauréat du Prix Patrimoine des Grands Prix Desjardins de la culture de Lanaudière 2017 vous offre des vacances inoubliables du 22 au 27 juillet 2018 avec des artistes de renom tels que André Brunet, Stéphanie Lépine et Éric Beaudry, Nicolas Pellerin et Stéphane Tellier, David Boulanger, Davî Simard, Martine Billette, un porteur de tradition, etc. Ces derniers vous partageront leur riche bagage musical. Depuis 2008, le camp a enseigné à plus de 1 300 musiciens d'ici et d'ailleurs !

Près de 115 violoneux, guitaristes et pianistes en provenance du Québec, de l'Ontario, des États-Unis, de la France et de l'Allemagne se réuniront pour une durée de 5 jours pour perfectionner et approfondir le répertoire en violon traditionnel québécois. Offerte par des professionnels de la musique, la formation permet d'améliorer la technique et d'élargir les connaissances au violon, au piano et à la guitare. Venez faire un tour dans la région de Lanaudière à Plein Air Lanaudia à Saint-Côme pour une expérience exceptionnelle favorisant les échanges culturels, les rencontres intergénérationnelles ainsi que l'ouverture à l'héritage musical du Québec tout en réalisant des activités plein air telles que rabaska, canot, kayak, tyrolienne, hébertisme... ! Une occasion d'apprendre dans un milieu où le plaisir et la passion de la tradition sont à l'honneur.

Tu as 18 ans et moins, inscris-toi et demande une bourse avant le 1er juin ! Tu auras un remboursement de 100$ à 300$ sur tes frais d'inscription au camp. Plus de 30 000 $ et 145 bourses remises en 10 ans ! De plus, les frais sont réduits de 30% pour les accompagnateurs. Faites vite! La période d'inscription se termine le 1er juin.

Violon Trad Québec remercie les partenaires de cette 11e édition, Plein Air Lanaudia, Lanaudière Mémoire et Racines, Culture Lanaudière, Caisse Desjardins du Nord de Lanaudière, Héroux Lépine Luthiers, Réseau Québec Folklore et Festitrad.

Inscriptions : / Questions :
Entrevues possibles auprès des organisateurs.

Source : Ghislaine Beaufort, Coordonatrice, Camp Violon Trad Québec
450 499-0819/
Ghislaine Beaufort, coordonnatrice
89, Grande Ligne
Saint-Alexis (Québec) J0K 1T0

Cornerstone's Celtic Kitchen Party - 15 June 2018

Join Kevin Dooley & Friends for a night that can't be missed!

Ottawa valley Celtic legend will be on stage with gifted musicians all for a great cause.

Please join us on Friday, June 15th for a Celtic celebration.

Cornerstone's Celtic Kitchen Party is sure to be a great night, with delicious home-style cooked eats, live music, and chances to win great door prizes.

Cash bar featuring premium brew and non-alcoholic beverages.

Proceeds go to Cornerstone Housing for Women.

Cornerstone is a vibrant community for women moving from homelessness to hope, healing, and home. At Cornerstone, everyone belongs, everyone matters, and everyone deserves a second chance.

Friday, June 15th
All Saints Anglican Church Westboro, inside the Great Hall
347 Richmond Road, Ottawa
6:30 pm doors open 7:30 pm Live Music and Irish Dance lesson
Tickets only $20, before June 1 - $25 until event.

To purchase tickets:

We look forward to seeing you!

Jessie-Lee Wallace
Resource Development Manager
Cornerstone Housing for Women

Thursday, 26 April 2018

House Concert: Saskia Tomkins and Clan Hannigan - Wed 2 May 2018

House Concert: Wed May 2  7:30 pm, Doors open at 7:00 pm


Saskia Tomkins :

Currently living in Coburg ON where she teaches violin, viola, cello and nykelharpa.   Has toured and recorded nationally and internationally.  Former All Britain champion for Irish music.  We expect she will be playing a variety of Irish and other Celtic genres of music with perhaps some jazz and world music in the mix. 

But wait!  There's more!  Along with her, she is bringing most of Clan Hannigan who just happen to be her incredibly gifted children.  Clan Hannigan is a Celtic and roots music family band and normally includes her multi-instrumentalist husband, Steafan Hannigan (unfortunately Steafan can't make this concert) .

·         All proceeds donated directly to the musicians
·         Suggested donation $20 per person
·         Seating is limited. E-mail gary . palmer @ unb . ca to reserve your seat.
·         Light refreshments will be served at intermission
·         BYOB
·         Location and parking information will be provided when you register (Kanata area).

To hear Saskia and Steafan's latest CD, click here:

Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Hidden Folk - Faerie Lore in Music and Storytelling - 22 April 2018

There will be a concert on Sunday, April 22, 7.30 at St. Luke's Anglican Church,  " The Hidden Folk" features music and stories from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Man.  Harper Mary Muckle will be singing a song in Irish and Jennifer Davis, a native Welsh speaker will be incorporating some Welsh into her stories.  The Ottawa Youth Harp Ensemble, under the direction of Mary Muckle, will be performing on five pieces. A door prize on offer will be a copy of Danny Doyle's book "The Irish Language in Canada".

Admission by donation.

Darkness Into Light - Session and Walk Events - April and May

Darkness into Light (DIL) will have their 2018 Launch with a live Irish Music Session on Saturday, April 21 from 2 -  5 PM at the Heart & Crown Pub on Preston Street.

Also, registration is now open for the Darkness Into Light walk. The walk is Saturday, 12th of May 2018, starting at 5 AM, from the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, Britannia Park, Ottawa.

From DIL Ottawa Facebook:

Darkness into Light began in Ireland in 2009 when 400 people gathered in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, to walk together towards the light the new day. Nine years later, Darkness into Light takes place in nearly 120 locations worldwide with over 120,000 people participating in 2017!

This year, Darkness into Light Ottawa will host its third annual 5km walk for suicide awareness, on May 12th at Britannia Park. This event raises funds for Pieta House Ireland, the founders of this event, and Youth Services Bureau Ottawa who deal with youth in crisis. It is an awareness campaign, a community event and a movement to end the stigma attached to suicide and mental health. Darkness into Light begins at 5am with participants crossing the finish line as dawn breaks; representing the hope that brings people from darkness back into the light. It is a very emotional event and a different experience for everyone who participates. Many people walk in memory of their family members or friends that have died by suicide. For others, it symbolizes their own personal journey. This walk is about bringing people together in the hope that no one ever has to walk alone.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Our Celtic Connections in Music, Song and Story - 8 April 2018

Please join Sine McKenna and friends Lynda Kathan, Duncan Gillis, and Ellen MacIssac for our 2nd annual  benefit concert for The Glengarry Highland Society.

When: April 8, 2018
From: 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Doors open at 1:30 pm
Where: Spoiled Rotten Bed and Breakfast, 1403 Shawinigan Street, Orleans.

Scots Gaelic singer and teacher, Sine McKenna, has been sharing her passion for Highland heritage for over 35 years. Although she grew up in Montreal, she was immersed in Celtic music from a young age. Her Mother, Anne, is an accomplished musician and her Father, Kenneth, a singer and historian. Since the early 70s Sine and her parents have been working together to raise awareness of the precious legacy of Highland culture in their present home, Glengarry county, Ontario.

As a solo singer, she has performed on both sides of the Atlantic on radio and television and also as lead singer with the Montreal based Celtic group Phenigma. In 1999 she co-founded The Daughters of Glengarry, a Gaelic music ensemble who performed throughout eastern Canada and Scotland.


Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley house concert, Tuesday 3 April 2018

Alex Cumming (The Teacups) & Nicola Beazley (The Rosie Hood Band) are an exciting English Box & Fiddle duo performing both songs and tunes from around England, America and beyond. The duo saw the release of their much anticipated debut album in late 2016, which was very well received. It came hot on the heels of concerts and festival appearances in folk clubs in Bristol, Dorset and Sheffield, at the legendary Green note in London, appearances at the folk weeks in Sidmouth, Broadstairs, and Gate to Southwell. Sandwiched in between all of this was a short tour of Canada in July all building up to the release of their debut album. They are returning to Ottawa in a more intimate setting to share more great music with us.

"No nonsense English folk music at its very, very best" - Downend Folk Club
"A fabulous duo! Great tunes, songs and banter. Highly recommended! " - Jon Boden (Bellowhead)
"a great synthesis of traditional material and modern inspiration" - Fatea Magazine

Suggested Donation: $20

For information on the address or to reserve your spot please email


Facebook Event:

Old Sod Society

Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Irish Rebel, Canadian Icon – A Life in Words and Music, 6 April 2018

A live music and literature event at the Canadian Museum of History

The youngest and one of the most intellectually gifted of the Fathers of Confederation, Thomas D’Arcy McGee enjoyed a remarkable career as a journalist, poet, author and politician in Ireland, the United States and Canada. As a youth, during a period of famine and international revolution, he was one of the leaders of the Young Ireland Rising movement of 1848. D’Arcy McGee also took an uncompromising stand against the Fenians — Irish republicans who wanted to free both Ireland and Canada from British rule. At the age of 42, in the early hours of April 7, 1868, he was assassinated on an Ottawa street by an Irishman who saw him as a traitor to the country of his birth.

Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Irish Rebel, Canadian Icon – A Life in Words and Music tells his story.


Tickets: $20 plus taxes
$10 plus taxes for Museum members, seniors and students

Purchase tickets online.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Masters of the Celtic Harp: Workshops & Concert - 6-7 April 2018


Two of the Foremost Harpers of Ireland and Scotland Together
Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson: Two Sides of Celtic
in Ottawa, April 6-7,2018


Date: Friday April 6, 2018
Location: Nepean Creative Arts Centre, 35 Stafford Rd, in Bells Corners (plenty of free parking)
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: $22 at the door, or through eventbrite:

WORKSHOPS (suitable for harpists with 1+yrs experience)

Date: Saturday April 7, 2018
Location: Nepean Creative Arts Centre, 35 Stafford Rd, in Bells Corners (plenty of free parking)
Times: 10-11:30am Grainne Hambly (The Jig is Up)
12:30-2pm William Jackson (Blind Harpers: who was Rory Dall)
2:30-4pm Grainne Hambly (Irish Traditional Dance Music)

Tickets: $40 for 1 workshop, $70 for 2 workshops, $100 for all 3 workshops
REGISTRATION: To register for the workshops (or workshops AND concert), please print off this PDF and send it back to me, either by scanning/attaching, or by regular mail. Payment can be done by e-transfer or cheque. All of this information can be found on the PDF, as well as on my website:

* Registration deadline is March 25, 2018

Find out more about the artists here:

Interview with the artists:


The Jig is Up: There's nothing that says Irish so much as the sound of a jig. Yet getting that "lilt" is a nuance that escapes many players just reading eighth notes on sheet music. Learn a jig or two from a master player and find out how to get the lightness and lift into your playing.

Blind Harpers: who was Rory Dall? A look at the music attributed to the 17th century blind harpers Rory Dall Morrison of Scotland and Rory Dall O'Catháin (Roger O'Keane ) of Ireland, and the confusion over the authorship of their compositions. Their music is very different than that of O'Carolan, probably the best-known, today, of the blind harpers.

Irish Traditional Dance Music: An Introduction to Ornamentation and Arranging: Learn about the different types of ornamentation used in Irish music, how to play them, and how to apply them to a basic melody. Some approaches to creating interesting and stylistically appropriate arrangements will also be covered. The difference between how dance tunes are notated and how they should be played will also be discussed.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Ottawa’s St. Patrick’s Day Concert, Friday 16 March at Saint Brigid's

Saint Patrick's on FRIDAY 16 March

Friday night, March 16. One day to go before official Saint Patrick's.  Whaddya gonna do?  You're going to go to the best Celtic music night you can find east of Myanmar! And you're going to like it.

Speed thee to Saint Brigid's Centre, at Cumberland and Murray, near The Byward Market, home to the The National Irish Canadian Cultural Centre.

Caution: Musicians NOT TO SCALE

You're in for a very lively St. Patrick's Day celebration, featuring some of Ottawa's Finest Celtic musicians, including the TrousersHiberniaAlexis MacIsaac and Calum MacKenzie (sample), and Kyle Burghout and Tyson Chen.

All ages welcome. Cash bar.  Food available


Youth – 25 and under: $10
General: $20

Show Starts: 7 PM. Doors open at 6:30 PM

Undecided? Do not delay! Check their impressive bios at the Saint Brigid's concert webpage.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Theatre: A Night in November at The Gladstone (Little Italy) - 13-17 March 2018

Must see live theatre in Ottawa

A Night in November

Gladstone Theatre
March 13-17, 2018
Monday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday matinee at 2:30 p.m.
Preview Monday March 12, at 7:30pm

Starring Pierre Brault
Written by Marie Jones

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, actor Pierre Brault is back in his award* winning role as Kenneth McCallister, proud Ulsterman, welfare clerk and dyed-in-the-wool bigot who is the embodiment of sectarian hatred until the fateful day he finds himself in the crowd watching Northern Ireland vs the Republic in a crucial World Cup qualifier.

For more information and tickets:

Blogger's note: THIS is one of the most amazing plays I have ever seen by arguably one of the best stage actors in Canada. Have I seen plays on Broadway? No. It doesn't matter, this is an incredible story, and if you love great acting, and any interest in anything Irish, then double whammy, you need to go see this production. The stage is set minimally. Everything is in the story and its telling by the master, Pierre Breault. You will never forget it. I really promise you. You will laugh, you will cry. It's much better than Cats.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Saint Patrick's Day Dinner and Dance - 17 March 2018!

Check out a great night for Saint Patrick's Day, Saturday March 17, with a dinner and dance. Certain to provide a taste of Ireland for the mouth and the dancing feet. Live band, called dances, beginners welcome.

Saint Patrick Basilica
Kent & Nepean Streets

Go to for tickets: Enter St Patrick Basilica to access tickets.

Choral: A Celtic Night at the Movies! - Sunday 11 March 2018

Join the Ottawa Celtic Choir (and Facebook) for a night of movie music - Celtic movie music! This is a concert of Celtic songs featured in movies (and maybe a popular TV show or two), sure to delight.

"A bit of a departure from our regular repertoire, but we're very much looking forward to it!"

Image may contain: cloud, sky, ocean, outdoor, nature and water

Admission is by donation at the door - pay what you can.

Sunday at 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
St. Luke's Anglican Church, Ottawa
760 Somerset St. West (Chinatown)

Irish Film Festival Ottawa releases 2018 selection

For more information visit the IFFO Webpage.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

St Patrick's Day warm up! Celebrate with Live Irish Music on March 10 and 11 at Saint Brigid's

Seriously, would I steer you wrong? It's always the craic* at Saint Brigid's!
(*loosely, Irish for "good time")

Click this link to Saint Brigid's (Cumberland St. on the edge of The Market) to learn more about to following fun events the whole family can enjoy:

Come Celebrate Being Irish – Dan McHale & Friends
March 10th 2018 12:30pm

Live Celtic Music & Pancake Breakfast
March 11th 2018 10:00am

Irish Arts Ottawa Monthly Sunday Sessions
March 11th 2018 2:00pm

Monday, 5 March 2018

Clan Hannigan at MERA Schoolhouse, McDonald's Corners, Lanark - 11 March 2018

Clan Hannigan is an intergenerational family band based out of Baltimore, Ontario, that takes traditional Irish music and blends it with elements of Jazz, Pop, and other folk traditions, to create a unique high energy sonic soundscape. Steafan Hannigan and Saskia Tomkins have been mainstays on the traditional Irish and world music scenes for the last thirty plus years working with acts like. Uriah Heep, Loreena McKennitt, Olivier Schroer, Julian Lloyd Weber, Bjork, Depeche Mode, Martin Carthy, Sin É, LinnTilla, The Afro Celt Sound System, The Chieftains and countless others.

Rawlins Cross come to Centrepointe Theatre! - 2 May 2018

Rawlins Cross (named for a famous crossroads in St. John's, Newfoundland), one of Canada's most accomplished and beloved Celtic rock bands, have rekindled the magic with their recent release, Rock Steady. Rock Steady is the ninth studio project for Rawlins Cross and one of the most personal, with six original tracks being written by the band. Equally at ease with a soulful Highland Air or a raucous party song, Rawlins Cross never fails to electrify.

Tickets are on sale now! 

101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, ON  K2G 5K7
Toll-free: 1-866-752-5231

Ben Miller & Anita McDonald in concert at La Grange de la Gatineau - 17 March 2018

Celebrate St. Patrick's day in fine Celtic style! Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald join together, blending the rich traditional sound of the Cape Breton fiddle, with the fiery edge of the Scottish Border pipes. Combining their creative vision with influences from Old and New World Gaelic traditions, they create a powerful sound, heralded as 
"one of the most important folk acts on the Island [Cape Breton] today."(Wendy Bergfeldt-Munro, Producer/Host CBC).
Tempering the sharp edge of the pipes and fiddle, Ben and Anita are joined by friends from the Maritimes and beyond. Supported by Zakk Cormier guitarist, and specialist of Acadian foot percussion, they create a sound that has captivated audiences across North America and further afield.

A cocktail of tradition, distilled like a pure drop of the Canadian Maritimes, their unique blend of driving dance music transcends boundaries - equally at home at a kitchen ceilidh or on a late night festival stage. "... Fiery, fresh, yet totally traditional." (Alex Monaghan, Piping Today Magazine).

Location and more information:
March 17th
8 PM

La Grange de la Gatineau
80 Chemin Summer
Cantley, QC

Monday, 19 February 2018

A night of Irish dance with Rhythm of the Dance, Centrepointe Theatre, 21 March 2018

Feel the beat of the bodhrán awaken your spirit as 22 Irish step-dancers take you on a 1,000 year journey of the Irish throughout history.

Featuring a live band, three tenors and performed by the National Dance Company of Ireland, Rhythm of the Dance combines traditional dance and music with the most up-to-date stage technology. This exhilarating 2-hour performance will lift you off your feet!

A fusion of the contemporary and the ancient, Rhythm of the Dance has heralded a new era in Irish entertainment, internationally rated as one of the most popular and busiest Irish step dance shows in the world.

Come out experience the energy of this international sensation at our very own Centrepointe Theatres on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

Info Page and Tickets

Rhythm of the Dance Trailer

Saturday, 10 February 2018

In concert: Genticorum -10 March 2018

Saturday March 10

Over the last few years, Genticorum has become one of the most sought after proponents of Québécois musical culture, having performed and toured in over 15 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Firmly rooted in the soil of their native land, the energetic and original, traditional 'power trio' also incorporates the dynamism of today's North American and European folk cultures in their music. They weave precise and intricate fiddle and flute work, gorgeous vocal harmonies, energetic foot percussion and guitar and accordion accompaniment into a big and jubilant musical feast. Their distinctive sound, sense of humour and stage presence make them a supreme crowd pleaser.

This concert celebrates the release of Genticorum's brand new CD, AVANT L'ORAGE!

When: Saturday, March 10, 8pm (doors 7:30)
Where: Rosemount Hall, 41 Rosemount Ave. Ottawa
Tickets: $25 advance, $28 at the door

Advance tickets available now at

PASCAL GEMME is a leading light in Quebec's traditional music scene.Known as much for his  original compositions as his fine interpretation of traditional tunes, Pascal is the fiddler, singer and arranger of the band, Genticorum, whose CDs have met with critical acclaim in several countries. From a young age, the fiddle music and songs of his native province have captivated him. After graduating with a degree in composition and band arrangements at Montreal's St Laurent College, he immersed himself in the traditional music around him, playing, collecting and recording music found all over Quebec. Pascal has developed a vast knowledge and is a leading exponent of the music.

YANN FALQUET is a very active and creative acoustic guitar player on the Québécois music scene. He has explored many styles of music and completed a Bachelor's degree in Jazz. Since then, he has developed a personal guitar style for Québec folk music, inspired by the playing of the accompanists of different cultures (Brittany, Scandinavia, Ireland, North America). His involvement in the province's traditional music scene has brought Yann to perform on numerous recordings, and to tour regularly throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia with Genticorum but also with JUNO award-winning Celtic and world group The McDades, the Jean-François Bélanger Trio and with cellist Natalie Haas.

NICHOLAS WILLIAMS has developed a reputation as a versatile and sought-after musician in the traditional music scenes of Québec and New England. His rhythmic yet nuanced style of flute playing draws from Irish and Scottish traditions, as well as from his studies of classical North Indian music. After completing a BFA in world music and composition at York University, Nicholas moved to Québec in 2000, where he has enjoyed exploring the common ground of his own diverse musical experiences with the rich Québécois musical tradition. Also an accomplished accordion and piano player, he has been a member of the band Crowfoot since 2005, plays with fiddler Laura Risk, and in the Alex Kehler & Nicholas Williams duo.

...deference to the past with an ear to the current Quebecois trad scene. Matt Large - HELLO DARLIN' PRODUCTIONS
Their robust vocals & sheer energy are satisfying, but ultimately it's the sense of playfulness married to a sonic richness - and those interesting original arrangements – that makes this ... such a devilish pleasure. SONGLINES
For a three piece, Genticorum makes a very full and glorious noise, both instrumentally and vocally… Chris Nickson, SING OUT!
Their strong, expressive French vocals and lush harmonies add rich icing to an already sumptuous cake. Any fan of folk music must hear this supercharged trio at all costs. Eric Thom – EXCLAIM

Listen to Genticorum here (YouTube)

Provided by Old Sod Folk Society of Ottawa.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Irish Film Festival Ottawa 2018 - 23-25 March

Mark your calendars, Ottawa. Right now, just go get that pen and walk over to your calendar. The Irish Film Festival Ottawa (IFFO) is back for yet another weekend of the finest available Irish Cinema between Friday 23 and Sunday 25 March at Art Court, 2 Daly Avenue.

Festival Director, Patrick Murray, and his committee, always select an incredibly wide range of films, covering historical drama, documentary, the trials and triumphs of modern Irish society, to ludicrous comedy. In short, I have learned that a weekend at IFFO shows the rapid social evolution of Ireland over the last century, from the rural farming landscape and coastal life to the harshness of modern urban life. All issues are on the table. Nothing is off limits.

Positioned late in March, not long after the mayhem of St. Patrick's Day (and all the lead up to it), IFFO offers the festival goer with a relaxing sanctuary of Irishness, without all the fuss of green glitter, green beer, green . . . . well, everything. The lights go down and you are in your own space, absorbing an Irish story, a story about anything. It all starts with the Opening Night Gala will feature a full house of cinema goers, a great opening feature, likely an appearance by one of the film's actors, normally the Irish Ambassador to Canada introduces the opening film, and this is all followed by a live Irish music session featuring Ottawa's finest Irish musicians. 

Typically, at least one feature is shown in the Irish language (subtitled). Each movie is followed by a live Q and A with the Director and/or Producer of the film. This is a really interesting part of the festival, and something you will never get by going to the local cineplex. The Saturday matinee is tailored for the enjoyment of children (to be honest, last year's Children's feature was enjoyed immensely by every adult in the room!).

I have personally enjoyed this festival very much, every year. I'm going, regardless, but it's a weekend I pray for rain. It just makes it all the more Irish. If you haven't been, just go. You'll be delighted.

Your blogger,

Monday, 5 February 2018

2018 Chris Langan Traditional Irish Music Weekend - Toronto, 2-4 March 2018

The Chris Langan Traditional Irish Music Weekend is an annual Toronto festival with concerts and workshops featuring some of the finest Irish music artists and teachers from around the world and our own great city.


The 2018 event will showcase a stellar line up of musicians from Canada, the United States and Ireland:

Siobhan Peoples, Fiddle

Martin Nolan, Uilleann Pipes & Octave Whistle

Sean Gavin, Flute

Joey Abarta, Uilleann Pipes

Patrick Ourceau, Fiddle
Pat O'Gorman, Whistle

The Chris Langan Traditional Irish Music Weekend has had 27 years of success. The namesake of our event, the late Chris Langan, was an impressive mentor, teacher, craftsman and advocate of the Irish arts in Toronto and in Ireland.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Darkness Into Light - Annual Trivia Night - 22 Feb 2018

Come join us for our Trivia Night Fundraiser!!! Spot prizes and a silent auction on the night. Get your team together and brush up on your general knowledge!

Funds raised on the night will go towards our Darkness into Light 2018 event, Pieta House Ireland and the Youth Services Bureau Ottawa.

IN THE HOUSE: Wayward Sound Saturday February 24, 2018, 7pm

The Wayward Sound

is In The House!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Wayward Sound is Doug Crump (guitar, vocals), Michael Jonz (mandolin, banjo, vocals), Olivia Pelling (violin, vocals), and Vance Trudeau (whistle, accordion). Based in Ottawa since 2010, the group has developed its traditional, acoustic sound at pubs, festivals, and kitchen parties. On stage, The Wayward Sound weaves together their original folk and east-coast style music with the ancient, traditional tunes of the UK & Ireland.

Please check out the band's Facebook page:

Or listen to some of their music:
Tickets $20 -- Seating is limited –
All proceeds go directly to The Wayward Sound
To reserve seats, email Graham and Suzanne at
145 Central Park Drive
Light refreshment will be available during intermission (BYOB).

Saturday, 3 February 2018

The Mahones - St Patrick's Tour 2018 - 8 March 2018

I'm more of a Pogues fan, but they aren't touring. Yet, you can still get a bucketful of punk rock music infused with Irish themes, memes, and schemes with The Mahones upcoming gig at House of Targ on 8 March.

This is a big bad group, and I have no doubt they'll pack the place with all the energy and enthusiasm of those looking for a big night out. Finny (Fintan) leads the band, and his mother, Anne, who died tragically in October 2016, was a major influencer, organiser, leader, in the traditional Irish music community of Canada. Indeed, The Mahones lead man, comes from a family steeped in the Irish tradition, even though you might have to read the between the lines.

CD Release Party - Cape Breton Tributes, Ernie Fraser, 3 Feb 2018

Finally, this is the CD Release Party for my first CD of Cape Breton fiddle & guitar tunes - Cape Breton Tributes.

7:30 PM - 11:30 PM

Free Admission, and free parking at the shopping centre on the other side of The Black Irish Pub (15 Selkirk Street, Vanier).

There is a stage and PA system in place. The format will be to have different musicians performing throughout the evening (similar to Dennis Lanctot's CD launch last year).

Hope to see many of you there!
Ernie Fraser

Visit Ernie's webpage HERE.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

5 jours de formation musicale avec Nicolas Pellerin, Stéphane Tellier et plusieurs autres !

Joliette (Québec)- 22 janvier 2018 - La période d'inscription débute le 1er février pour la 11e édition du Camp Violon Trad Québec qui se déroulera du 22 au 27 juillet 2018 à Plein Air Lanaudia à Saint-Côme.

Des artistes qui se sont forgés une solide réputation tels que Nicolas Pellerin et Stéphane Tellier (Les Grands Hurleurs), David Boulanger (De Temps Antan) et plusieurs autres se joindront aux fondateurs André Brunet (Vent du Nord Quintette), Stéphanie Lépine (Lépine//Branchaud) et Éric Beaudry (De temps Antan) pour former la cohorte des enseignants au Camp Violon Trad Québec. Ils vous partagent leur riche bagage musical pendant cinq jours de classes de maîtres où la musique traditionnelle est vigoureuse et où l'histoire et la culture sont bien vivantes.

Amoureux de la musique, venez parfaire votre technique tout en élargissant vos connaissances et votre aisance au violon, à la guitare et au piano. Une programmation diversifiée : concerts, jams, soirée de danse, mi-carême, etc. et une panoplie d'activités plein air telles que rabaska, canot, kayak, tyrolienne, etc. vous attendent pour des vacances uniques et mémorables !

Le camp est accessible aux jeunes et aux familles grâce à sa Bourse qui offre une aide financière aux 18 ans et moins et à son tarif réduit de 30% pour les accompagnateurs. Ne tardez pas à vous inscrire, l'année dernière le camp a affiché complet et en vous inscrivant avant le 30 avril, vous épargnez 40 $! La période d'inscription et de demandes de bourses se poursuit jusqu'au 1er juin. Depuis dix ans, le Camp Violon Trad Québec connait un franc succès et a rassemblé près de 1 400 musiciens. Soyez des nôtres en 2018 !

Informations détaillées et inscriptions sur notre site internet :
Pour plus de renseignements : 514 378-0918/ camp@violontradquebec.com

Monday, 22 January 2018

Concert: The Trousers at LIVE! on Elgin, Sunday 11 February 2018

Join Ottawa's The Trousers at LIVE! on Elgin, Elgin St., Ottawa, Sunday 11 February, at 2PM for a wonderful ride through a grand selection of traditional acoustic Celtic music. Doors open 1:30.


Making a name for themselves as Ottawa’s hottest trad band, The Trousers are a dynamic duo that showcase music from their roots. Seasoned multi-instrumentalists Karson McKeown (right) and Ross Davison (left) are sure to have audiences unable to resist nodding and tapping their toes along to the beat of unique arrangements consisting of traditional Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton tunes.

After forming the band in Jan. 2016, The Trousers are thrilled to have released their first EP, which unites sets influenced by the members’ most influential idols, new music, and, of course, old favourites.

Karson McKeown, who comes from a long line of fiddlers in western Prince Edward Island, began playing the fiddle at age 10 following step dancing for six years. He has a classical background, and studied music at Holland College, where he focused on jazz, blues, rock, and Celtic. McKeown loves incorporating tunes his great, great, aunts and uncles taught him into their performances.

Davison also started applying his love for music at 10 years old when he took up learning to play the saxophone. Davison attended Michigan State University to study classical and jazz. Also, he is one of few people in Ottawa who play the uilleann pipe, which isn’t typically heard live outside of Ireland. He relishes the opportunity to share such a rare instrument with music-lovers at shows.

Kyle Burghout (Facebook / webpage) Having performed across Canada, the USA, Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Hungary, Kyle Burghout has established himself as one of Canada’s best young fiddlers. Kyle and his music have been featured on CBC radio and television, as well as in Irish Music Magazine and The Canadian Fiddler. His many awards include North American Irish Fiddle Champion, runner-up at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship, and two-time finalist at the All-Ireland Fiddle Competition in Sligo, Ireland.  Learn more at Kyle's webpage!

Learn more at THE TROUSERS webpage!
Follow The Trousers  on Facebook!


Concert: The East Pointers, National Arts Centre - Sunday 18 Feb 2018

Sunday, 3PM

There’s a reason, beyond their dazzling musicianship and wildly entertaining live shows, that The East Pointers have connected with audiences right across the globe, making new, original roots music the hippest, most vibrant thing going.

The reason? The East Pointers - fiddler/singer Tim Chaisson, banjoist Koady Chaisson and guitarist Jake Charron – write about real life, sketching out its joys and sorrows in vivid strokes. That palpable authenticity makes their instrumental tunes practically cartwheel and infuses their lyric-driven songs with poignancy.

And it’s why listening to The East Pointers’ brilliant and hotly anticipated second album What We Leave Behind – produced by superstar East Coast-bred songwriter/producer Gordie Sampson – is akin to meeting up with an old friend.

As a follow-up to 2017’s internationally acclaimed, JUNO Award-winning debut Secret Victory, (Traditional Roots Album of the Year), What We Leave Behind shares stories previously unheard but framed by a familiar context. With a captivating balance between their traditional-sounding instrumental tunes, and catchy radio-ready songs, The East Pointers reach out with open arms to a wide range of listeners, inviting them to discover a new love of folk music.

TICKETS HERE (note: ludicrous Ticketmaster fees, likely a lot cheaper if you can hit the box-office, Monday to Saturday, 10am to 9pm)

(text lifted from their Facebook page, give them a Follow! : )

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Choral Concert: Atlantic Voices presents “Age of Sail” - Sunday 28 Jan. 2018

Atlantic Voices “Age of Sail” concert pays tribute to Canada’s East Coast seafaring heritage

Ottawa, Ontario (January 19, 2018) — Atlantic Voices, a local community choir with a repertoire consisting mainly of Newfoundland, Maritime and Celtic songs and music, today announced its January concert “Age of Sail” themed around the seafaring heritage of Canada’s East Coast and premiering songs by composer Patrick O’Shea.

The “Age of Sail” concert will take place at Centretown United Church, 507 Bank Street, on January 28, 2018. The concert pays tribute to the seafaring heritage of Canada’s East Coast with the Atlantic Voices choir singing songs about the joys and hardships of the sailor’s life.

The concert also features the world premiere of a new set of rousing Newfoundland sea songs by composer Patrick O’Shea. Patrick O’Shea is a Professor, Music Department Chair and Director of Choirs at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and a member of the American Composers Forum, the American Choral Directors Association and the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, among other accomplishments.

Showtime is 3:00 p.m., with pre-show entertainment by The Fumblin' Fingers starting at 2:15 pm. The Fumblin' Fingers are an Ottawa band with Atlantic Voices’ roots that plays traditional music from Canada's East Coast and the UK.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, as long as available.
Advance tickets can be purchased at The Leading Note, 370 Elgin Street, or by calling 613-722-9240. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

A silent auction and reception with light refreshments follow the concert performance.
Visit for more information.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

"25" card game - Ireland's National Card Game = 21 Jan 2018

Learn how to play, and play (!) Ireland's national card game, "25" ! Supportive friendly group of those wanting to learn or recapture the fun they had in Ireland playing this card game. 

Facebook Group:

See also: 

Ye Banks and Braes: A Concert in Celebration of Robbie Burns - Sunday 28 Jan 208

Sunday, January 28 at 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

(If you can't make it this day, there is another concert the day before)

Venue: Mill Road Community Space, 8 chemin Mill, Chelsea, QC

Join Hibernia and special guest Graham Lindsey for an evening of song and music in honour of Scotland's National Bard, Robbie Burns!

Featuring Susan Toman and Ellen MacIsaac (director of the Ottawa Celtic Choir), and Graham Lindsay (just back from Sweden, and any other place you can find on a map)

Where: Mill Road Community Space, Chelsea, QC
When: 7:30 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)
Tickets: $20  Eventbrite Tickets

Wide Waters, Hibernia's new CD, will also be available for sale!

Facebook Event:

Concert: Duncan Ross Cameron - Friday 26 Jan 2018

Friday, January 26 at 7:30 PM - 9 PM

Venue: Log Drive Cafe, Abbortsford House, 950 Bank St Ottawa

(Click image to enlarge)

Duncan Cameron creates fresh and detailed folk music. His compositions and adaptations of old songs in both French and English reveal the depth and contrast of emotions in lyrics as well as instrumental music. To that end, his arrangements and compositions draw not only from Celtic roots but also classical music, funk, and other popular styles.

Doors open at 7pm

$10 at the door.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Concert: Aerosmith Robb Trio - 21 Jan 2018


A quick note to wish all our regular concert goers a joyful and peaceful festive season, and a very happy new year. Thanks as always for your support over the past year, and we hope you will continue to enjoy some great Old Sod concerts in the New Year.

Click to enlarge image

A reminder that our 2017-18 season continues on Sunday Jan 21st with a concert featuring a quite new transatlantic trio: Jess and Richard Arrowsmith from Sheffield England, with Ottawa's own Ian Robb. The trio are getting together on this side of the pond for a deep mid-winter recording session in the Gatineau hills, and are doing a couple of concerts in Ottawa and Toronto to help finance the trip.

Watch the Arrowsmith Robb Trio sing Jess's composition "All the Salt".

Further details and tickets for this concert are available HERE

We hope to see you in January!

The Old Sod Concert Committee:
Catherine Burns
Ed Kingscote
Nev Miller
Ian Robb
Roger Williams

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Concerts: Hibernia Robbie Burns concerts - 27 & 28 January 2018

Robbie Burns is rightly called Scotland's National Bard, for the way he captured the Scots temperament and dialect and because many of his poems and songs continue to be popular across the world. 

Join Ellen MacIsaac, Susan Toman, and special guest Graham Lindsay for an evening of songs and music in tribute to Robbie Burns. Graham joins us on mandolin, flute, whistle, and bodhran.

First concert:
Where: Kitchissippi United Church, 630 Island Park Drive, Ottawa
When: Saturday January 27, at 7:30 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)
Tickets: $20 in advance, $24 at the door
Link to purchase tickets in advance: http://

Wide Waters, Hibernia's new CD, will also be available for sale!

Second concert:
If you can't come on January 27th, you have one more chance to hear the program:
Where: Mill Road Community Space, 8 rue Mill, Chelsea, QC
When: Sunday January 28, at 7:30 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)
Tickets: $20 (tickets at the door only)

To find out more about us, visit us on the web at